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Wenonah Brooks

June 29, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Preservation New Jersey and the New Jersey Jazz Society are pleased to welcome renowned jazz vocalist Wenonah Brooks to the renowned acoustic space of the 1867 Sanctuary.
Click here for Tickets!

Wenonah Brooks, born and raised in Hopewell, New Jersey has been performing in one way or another since the age of eight (8). Trained in the tradition of gospel music, Wenonah and her five (5) sisters have performed as the group “Brooks Ensemble Plus” in many public forums.

It is a natural transition for an artist with these roots to develop a singular style. The emergence of this style for Wenonah has been in the area of jazz, a music steeped in blues and gospel tradition.

Tradition is a key word in describing the music of Wenonah Brooks. In recent years, modern jazz has taken on a chaotic element, breaking with its past and leaving many conservative jazz audiences wanting for the music they had grown to appreciate. Wenonah’s concept has been to bring the performance of jazz back to its fundamentals, namely, recognizable standard songs expressed in the form of the artist. Specifically, her performance is a synthesis of standard material from Porter, Hart, etc.… and her personal style of subtle interpretation.

Wenonah’s notoriety increased over the years. Looking toward the future Wenonah is pursuing the study of music hoping to bring more of the standard songs of the past to the world of jazz through the application of jazz arranging. Her goal is to ultimately produce recorded music funded by jazz enthusiasts who are interested in preserving the authentic jazz tradition.

Wenonah finished a residency in Hopewell Elementary School with the music teacher, working with five fifth grade classes. She shared with them the history of blues, enabling each class to write lyrics and melody to their own blues song as a class project. The song that best demonstrated what the classes were taught was performed with Wenonah’s jazz trio at the annual spring concert.

In past years Wenonah has performed at an annual self-produced jazz concert in her hometown of Hopewell at the Off-Broadstreet Theatre. Her special guests at various concerts have been pianist Dr. John Valerio, saxophonist Ralph Bowen, baritone saxophonist Denis DiBlasio and tenor saxophonist Houston Person.

Matthew ParrishJazz bassist Matthew Parrish (www.matthewparrish.org), has ‘come into his own’ as a sought after performer, arranger, and composer. Matthew brings skills and swing as he puts his heart into every note he plays. He has a genuine warmth and loyalty to the music that transcends into every note, every tune, and every interaction with his fellow musicians (photo courtesy of Y. Yoneda).

Born in central California to hard-working, music-loving parents of four children, Matthew is the youngest to his next sibling by eleven years. With a variety of jazz, rock, and classical music being played around him since birth, whether live or recorded, and a father who played acoustic bass early in his military career, Matt was destined for a life dedicated to music. Although he started on trumpet in middle school, he switched from that instrument for the acoustic bass in a last minute decision of the heart right before his Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts music program audition. He was accepted as an acoustic bass student in jazz studies and he has never stopped learning his craft.

Matt’s young bass career is grounded in Philadelphia, PA. He had the blessing, in his late teens and early twenties, of performing with Shirley Scott, Mickey Roker, Bobby Durham, Cecil Payne, Johnny Coles, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Jimmy Oliver, Danny Turner, and fellow young musicians, Orrin Evans and Byron Landham.

Matthew went on to have the unforgettable experience of touring with legendary trombonist, Al Grey. This era also included performing with Clark Terry, Marion McPartland, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lou Donaldson, Joe Cohn, Savion Glover, and Bill Charlap.

After the sad passing of Al, an important mentor and friend, Matthew continued to tour with the bands of Greg Osby, Jon Jang, James Newton, Stefon Harris, and Regina Carter. Matt came to be relied upon as a gifted composer and arranger in addition to his steady performing. His own works, as played by Matt on bass, are on his debut CD, ‘Circles’ (Hipnotic Records), as well as on recordings from Regina Carter and Dave Leonhardt, Denise Montana, and Ben Schachter.

Since Matthew has always believed that recording music is paramount to his career as it is timeless and marks musical milestones, he is grateful to have recorded with the above musicians. Matthew also has recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paquito D’Rivera, Clark Terry, Etta Jones, James Williams, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, James Newton, Miri Ben-Ari, Gary Thomas, Vana Gierig, and Orrin Evans, to name a few.

Currently, Matt continues to tour throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America with bands of the legendary Freddy Cole, Houston Person, and Vana Gierig. For over three years and counting, Matt has also presented his own popular showcase concerts in the Philadelphia area, with everything from an old-school, Philly-tinted ‘tenor sax battle’ with Larry McKenna, Bootsie Barnes, Houston Person, and Tim Warfield, to a Brazilian ‘jungle jazz’ concert featuring Amazonian performers Karine Aguiar, Ygor Saunier, and Vinicius Barros, with Vana on piano, and Marcello Pellitteri on drums.

No stranger to the New York City jazz scene, Matt frequents the Jazz Standard, the Blue Note, Dizzy’s ‘Coca Cola’ Club at Lincoln Center, Smalls, Birdland, and the Iridium. He is also no stranger to Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA jazz clubs and, of course, he is a devoted Philadelphia, PA performer.

With decades of his life devoted to the art of jazz bass, Matthew shares his experience by teaching and mentoring young children through adults in assemblies, master classes, and lectures throughout the United States.

Radam SchwartzRadam Schwartz, Jazz Organist and pianist, has built his reputation over the last 30 years playing with such great musicians as Arthur and Red Prysock, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Al Hibler, David Fathead Newman and Jimmy Ford, Cecil Brooks III. He continues to make music history today playing with renowned artists Russell Malone, the Spirit of Life Ensemble, TK Blue, Conrad Herwig and many others.

Radam’s prolific career has led to many successful recordings, many making the national charts. In all, he has been on over 40 recordings, 6 as leader and 2 as a co-leader. Some of the artists that he has recorded with are Don Braden, Jay Hogard, Ed Cherry, Andy McCloud, Bill Saxton, Bruce Williams, Frank Lacy, Paul Beaudry, Alvester Garnett, Jeff Hackworth, Rodney Jones, Miles Griffith etc.

In 2009 and 2010 Radam received awards from Sesac for jazz composition. He was also mentioned in the world famous Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll in August 2009, 2010, 2015, and 2016. He is also known for his work with singers including Della Griffin, Irene Reid, Madame Pat Tandy, Cynthia Holiday, Yvette Glover, Annette St. John, Carrie Jackson, and many others.

Radam also has been a jazz educator for many years, formerly as music director at the Jazz Institute of New Jersey (for 20 years), artist-in-residence at Middlesex County Arts program (for 24 years), and an instructor at Jazz House Kids in Montclair NJ where he teaches jazz improv and directs several ensembles (his advanced ensemble won first place in the 2012 Charles Mingus Competition), and the Jazz Academy at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. He currently is the director of the Rutgers-Newark Mosaic Jazz Ensemble as well.

In 2012 Radam obtained a Masters degree form the Rutgers Newark Jazz Research and History Department, directed by Dr. Lewis Porter. He is currently working on turning several aspects of his thesis into books.

Jazz at the 1867 Sanctuary and throughout the Trenton/Princeton area is featured on trenton.jazznearyou.com. Download their app for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire!

New Jersey Jazz Society

Preservation New Jersey is pleased that the New Jersey Jazz Society (NJJS) is co-sponsoring jazz events at the 1867 Sanctuary. We encourage fans of our jazz concerts and jazz musicians to join NJJS at www.njjs.org so they receive their award-winning Jersey Jazz journal 11 times a year and other special benefits, including a $5 discount on tickets to Jazz Music Series concerts at the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing!

To Purchase Tickets

Tickets are $20 for General Admission, $15 for Friends of the Sanctuary, $15 for New Jersey Jazz Society Members, and only $5 for school and college students with ID. Tickets may be purchased online below by selecting your ticket option and clicking on the “Buy Now” link to use credit or debit card or your PayPal account. If ordering two or three ticket types, each type must be purchased in a separate order. You will receive an email confirmation of each purchase. Online tickets will be held at the box office; please print and bring your receipt in case it is needed to confirm your purchase.

GROUP RATES are now available! Choose the Group ticket option and each ticket will have a $5 discount from the General Admission price (same as the Friends of the 1867 Sanctuary ticket price)! Group rate tickets must be purchased in quantities of 10 or more within a single purchase. Group rates apply only to advance online sales and cannot be purchased at the box office prior to the concert. Groups must present themselves at the box office at the same time. For group orders of fewer than 10 people, the full General Admission rate (less the amount prepaid) may be required at the box office at the time of admission. Group rates do not apply to Student prices.

Tickets may be reserved at the box office for payment by cash, check or credit card by calling 609-392-6409 or emailing 1867sanctuary@preservationnj.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door as space allows.

Wheelchair accessibleThe 1867 Sanctuary is air conditioned, and is wheelchair accessible using the ramp on the left side of the building.

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For only $30.00 per year ($50.00 for families), members of the Friends of the 1867 Sanctuary receive advance notice of special events, our member newsletter, gift shop discounts and $5 off our General Admission concert tickets! BECOME A MEMBER NOW!

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June 29, 2017
8:00 pm
Event Category:


1867 Sanctuary at Ewing
101 Scotch Road + Google Map